June 2, 2017

Too late and too tired to write anything. See you tomorrow !!!


August 30, 2016

It was one of these days … I’m in bed trying to sleep because I just want it to finish.


June 17, 2016

Last minute preparations. Collecting our German speakers and supporters from the airport. A stroll and dinner through town. Flights delayed. Everybody making a huge effort to be there tomorrow, to make sure that our voices will be heard. Shouting from the rooftops: enough is enough, no more, no more, no more being considered to be on death row, sent to the nursing homes where people who have lived their lives are waiting for it to end. No more waiting, no more hoping that someone, someone must surely see that here are our young sons and daughters and partners and brothers and sisters with a life ahead of them, a life, a life, a life worth living, a life worth fighting for, not the life they had before, not the life they had planned or imagined, sure who would ever imagine having such a catastrophic accident and injury, but a life nonetheless, a life with good days and bad days, but a life together, a life with food, drink, wind in your hair and rain on your skin, with good smells and bad smells, with really good music, and exciting adventures.
Tomorrow will be the first day of the An Saol Project.

It will change Pádraig’s life and that of others like him. It has to. There is no option, no plan B.

See you tomorrow!

No blog tonight

June 11, 2016

Sleep well.


June 4, 2016

It’s in the sticks. In the middle of nowhere. Nothing like cows, birds singing, and insects taking over the world. Shocking connectivity and almost no sgnal even for the phone. Bad for stressed out city folks who probably would get near a nervous breakdown because their interweb-world could go belly up and they wouldn’t even find out.

We were here before after the accident, for a short visit. This time we’ll be staying for the night – another first! More tomorrow from a proper laptop with a proper keyboard. In the meantime we’ll be enjoying what remains of a really nice sunny Saturday afternoon and a real quiet night.

Language Matters

March 13, 2014

Translators are under-paid, their expertise under-valued, their contribution to society and the economy under-estimated. Who on earth wants to be a translator? Let me give you a piece of advice: if you are interested in making money, do not get into the translation or localisation business. Your employees will hate you because you pay miserable salaries, your clients will treat you like a utility that should be cheap and always available, and yourself and your business will always struggle for survival. That is the ‘real world’.

I have been working in the ‘real world’ most of my professional life. When I did not, I observed it carefully. Here are three lessons I learned during those years.

Lesson 1: Translators are good people
Rarely have I met a translator who joined the profession to become a millionaire. In most cases, my friends and colleagues were people with an open mind, well travelled, and interested in connecting people, cultures, and businesses. Most of them are also interested in doing this to the best of their abilities, they are professionals. Most of them are concerned about the content they translate and the impact that content has. All of them were interested in technology as a tool to help them do their job better. All of them rejected technology that pretended to be better at doing their job, but still required them to fix the ‘few’ quirks it said it couldn’t handle yet. Translators believe that what they do has a meaning. They are not (primarily) motivated by money.

Lesson 2: Companies are interested in profit
Companies are investment instruments. Their purpose is to deliver a service or a good at a price that yields as much profit for their investors as possible. The aim of many companies is to be bought by bigger companies at a profit to their original owners. Translation and localisation companies are no different. Their interest is to translate as many words as quickly as possible at a quality that they can get away with, and at the highest price possible. If they believe that a job can be done by a machine they will use a machine. They are not concerned at all about the content they translate as long as they are paid for it. If you turn this argument around: they will not translate any content into any language unless they are paid for it. They are (primarily) motivated by money.

Lesson 3: Language services are too important to be left to the ‘real world’
To avoid any confusion here: there is nothing wrong with any of the above. Except, that the model works for just a fraction of people, languages, and content on our planet – and even for these it works only just about. Mainstream language service providers never step out of the ‘real world’, the silo they live in. They are worried about the profitability of their businesses, they complain about the low profit margins they make, they deplore the lack of training universities deliver to their future employees. When I listen to them, I sometimes wonder why they do what they do at all? It must be horrible to get up in the morning facing a day with under-qualified, moaning employees, clients that are like sharks ready to have them for lunch, and accountants telling them that their business is getting closer to the abyss of bankruptcy. They persevere, but even in their perseverance they only cater for about a quarter of the world’s population, a tiny fraction of the information and knowledge that should be exchanged across languages, and less than 5% of the world’s languages.

A new Approach: The Global Conversation in Communities
Less than a year ago, we came up with the idea of the Translation Commons ( It’s simple: there are tens of thousands of language volunteers happy to help global communities to exchange their knowledge and information across the languages of the world. We just need to connect them. The Translation Commons is where that happens. It is an open space that is maintained by The Rosetta Foundation. There are a few rules, but otherwise it is up to the volunteers and the communities to decide what is going to be translated. Impact and affecting change is what counts, not the number of words and profit. Within less than a year, the community using the Translation Commons has grown from nothing to an astonishingly:

  • 4,780 volunteers, 900 active users;
  • 60-70 volunteers working on projects per week on average;
  • 81 languages;
  • 106 partners, 70 of which active since started, 20 are active per week;
  • 30-40 registrations per week (volunteers and partners);
  • 850 projects since beginning, 539 projects of these on Trommons, 175 in two months (Jan/Feb ‘14);
  • 20 new projects/week on average; 66 active projects per week.

This ‘operation’ costs The Rosetta Foundation currently less than 4,000 euro per month, invested into the operation by people who believe it delivers incredible value, has a huge impact, affects tremendous change around the globe, and inspires translators, communities, and everybody working in The Rosetta Foundation and on the Translation Commons.

What you can do

If you share our believe that Language Matters, that language services are too important to be left to the ‘real world’, if you want to support the Global Conversation in Communities, this is what you can do:

If you would like to discuss your possible involvement in the development of the Translation Commons (it’s an open source project of The Rosetta Foundation!) or support our work by whatever means, please contact


The Rise of Bio-Lingualism

June 10, 2013


I’ve just finished reading an amazing article on ‘sustainable’ banking or, as Peter Blom of Triodos Bank calls it with an ironic undertone, ‘Bio-Banking’. I’ve also just filled in the 2013 MIT Sloan Management Review & BCG Sustainability Survey. Both convinced me that sustainability is not just something for ‘do-gooders’, social revolutionaries, or members of the green parties around the world anymore. Sustainability is going mainstream.

Check out Triodos Bank’s website and read up on their commitment to the environment: “Triodos Bank believes that profit doesn’t need to be at the expense of the world’s most pressing environmental problems”; social change: “We finance work to improve and enrich the lives of millions of people; tackling inequality and injustice. And developing strong communities in the process”; and culture: “Triodos Bank believes that culture is a powerful force for positive change, driving creativity and innovation in business, and providing lasting opportunities for personal development”.

What is even more amazing, the bank’s chief, Peter Blom, earns ‘just’ 272,000 euro (this is small change for big bankers), it has 440,000 clients, and attracts 10,000 new clients every month. The bank’s clients not only see but also control where the bank invests: it is completely transparent.

An isolated case? Here is another example: Have you heard about Oekom? Two youngsters founded this rating agency at the end of the 90s in a backyard office in Munich. Today, they receive invitations from big financial institutions to talk about human rights violations, environmental protection, and sustainable investment. Oekom, unlike its competitors Moody’s or Standards & Poor, doesn’t focus on credit ratings, but rates more than 3,000 companies and 51 countries on their commitment to ecological and social principles. 520 billion euro is invested based on their recommendations worldwide!

They are not alone. Did you know that a fifth of global capital investment, or 13 trillion US dollars, is invested based on social, ecological, and ethical criteria? Did you know that this investment achieves returns that are 11% better than to the world stock index MSCI World (formerly Morgan Stanley Capital International)?

Interesting, you might say, but what has all this got to do with the language industry?

There is a lesson here for us in the language industry, an industry that sees itself driven by continuous and growing demands for efficiency, for ‘better, faster, cheaper’, an industry where money is king – an industry that to a large extent doesn’t seem to have noticed yet, never mind reacted to, some of the biggest challenges and changes in society and business: the move towards social responsibility and sustainability.

Signs of what one could call, following Peter Blom’s example, ‘bio-lingualism’ amongst commercial providers are hard to spot. Instead, Machine Translation (MT) continues its long relationship with military interventions and the cold wars. (LOGOS received a great boost during the Vietnam War; METAL during the Cold War; SYSTRAN still receives huge investments from the military.) Industry associations fight over access to conference venues in Washington when the conflicts in the Middle East heat up. Researchers in large government funded localisation research projects are not shy to promote partnerships with online gaming companies. – Many in the language industry still sell out too easily to the highest bidder. No matter what.

The few non-profit players in the language industry report (this is based on anecdotal evidence) that they don’t mention their non-profit interests or status to their clients anymore – because these clients, apparently, don’t take non-profit businesses seriously. To my knowledge, there is only one commercial provider, Alboum, which focuses on “translation services for non-profit organizations”. Another company, InEveryLanguage, is proud to promote itself as “the socially responsible way to meet your translation needs”.  Mondragón Lingua operates on cooperative principles and has a strong commitment to social responsibility. Many companies offer, as a special service, translations to non-profits, some for free or at discounted rates, among them TransPerfect, ABC Translation Services, Morningside Translations, ITC Global Translations, Lionbridge, SDL, and Welocalize.

What is the alternative to a primarily profit-driven language services business and research, at the expense of ethical and social considerations? Why on earth should we promote sustainable language services?

Well, a large number of studies have demonstrated that there is a clear causal connection between languages, and the environment, health, and education, as well as with social and economic well-being of people; the connection between bio-diversity and language diversity has also long been established. If we care about sustainable energy, the environment, and health – we need to care about sustainable language services, driven primarily by ethical, ecological, and social considerations, rather than by profit. The financial services sector has given us the examples that sustainable services are also financially more profitable. (I have reported elsewhere on findings that the non-profit sector also generates more employment than the for-profit sector.)

While language service companies are slow to react, thousands of language service volunteers are now investing their time and expertise in sustainable translation services with organisations such as Mozilla, TED, and the Khan Academy, but also with initiatives like PerMondo, Translators without Borders, Translations for Progress, and – of course my personal first choice – The Rosetta Foundation’s Translation Commons ( This site is powered by SOLAS, an open source software project coordinated by The Rosetta Foundation.

Friends and colleagues in the language communities: Is it not time to invest in social localisation? I mean, really invest! To sow the seeds and reap the benefits – together, in a sustainable bio-lingual language industry, for the benefit of the people and our one, shared world? Investing in sustainable bio-lingualism is a risk worth taking!

Reinhard Schäler

This blog was inspired by Böll, S. and Hese, M. (2013). Finanzindustrie: Aufstieg der Bio-Banker, in: Der Spiegel, 22/2013, 27 May 2013 (69-72).

More information on the financial institutions mentioned:

Triodos Bank

Oekom Research

MSCI World

More about the link between biodiversity and language diversity:

Penn State (2012, May 7). Endangered species, languages linked at high biodiversity regions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 4, 2013, from­ /releases/2012/05/120507154112.htm.

UNESCO BIP (Biodiversity Indicators Partnership): Status of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices Status and Trends of Linguistic Diversity and Numbers of Speakers of Indigenous Languages (available at, last accessed 04 June 2013); Note: this article has a large number of links to related studies investigating the link between language and traditional knowledge related to biodiversity.


May 7, 2013

Barriers to language services are breaking down. Commercial language services are complemented by massive community-driven service contributions. Communicating in your own language with fellow citizens throughout the world no longer depends purely on an economic rationale. This significantly contributes to equality, inclusion, and the realization of a fundamental and universal human right: the right to use one’s own language.

‘Language barriers’ never existed—languages are not barriers that we need to overcome, they are one of humanity’s treasures, and they allow us to express who we are and communicate with our fellow citizens. Instead, we are knocking down the barriers that so far have prevented us from accessing language services that would allow equal communication across languages. We have a right to read or to listen, to write or to speak in each of our unique and beautiful languages, and to be able to communicate with our fellow global citizens without depending on economic considerations. Tens of thousands of volunteers have already started to rock ‘n roll, to shake up the status quo, to do the ‘impossible’—to provide high quality, human language services on a large scale 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and all that without a profit motive!

We have demonstrated our power to expand beyond the profit motive and allow broader and more comprehensive accessibility to languages services.

We use technology to support our efforts rather than allow technology to determine the way we work. There is no doubt that our efforts will lead to a level of equality and inclusion never experienced before, creating a sense of pride, confidence, and energy that will empower people to lift themselves out of poverty, ignorance, and dependence. The global connections that people are establishing with others are uniting the planet and will significantly contribute to making killing fields, hunger epidemics, curable diseases, intolerable poverty, and endemic illiteracy history. Instead, these connections will lead to a better mutual understanding, to an unseen exchange of knowledge and information, and to social and economic opportunities we cannot even imagine today.

While top-down localisation efforts empower corporate globalisation, bottom-up localisation efforts expand and widen access to languages services. Combined, they address all of our cross-language communication needs. They will create a force that makes localisation accessible to all in the form and context that best suits their needs.

Let us connect our efforts and collaborate on the Translation Commons—the space where communities offer and find non-market-driven language services. Let’s work together to expand language services beyond a solely economic rationale. We, and our languages, are worth it!

Language Service Providers of the World—Unite!

Reinhard Schäler

The Translation Commons

The Translation Commons ( is an open space for communities to offer and seek free language services. The site is powered by SOLAS technologies, an open source project by The Rosetta Foundation. The project has received funding by private, corporate, and public donors and contributors. Do you share our vision and passion? Then we want to hear from you:


The China Syndrome

May 1, 2013

The taxi driver doesn’t speak much English; the receptionist asks you to sign papers that could for all intents and purposes be yearly subscriptions to the local newspaper; the doctor doesn’t have a clue what you are talking about and prescribes medicine with a name you cannot even read, never mind understand; many of the few translations into English you can find could be straight from one of those websites trying to keep you entertained with examples of ‘lost in translation’; there are 5 million cars on the road and they all seem to be large Audis, Passats, Buicks, BMWs or Mercedes, and they all seem to have decided to drive down the same street you’re just on; at 7am the outdoor sports facilities are packed with people stretching, exercising, and practicing Tai-Chi – not the young energetic types in their twenties, but the slower more concentrated and focused types in their 50s and above; there are 100 universities in town, many quite sizeable settlements in their own right; squares are the size of your home town; the list of overwhelming impressions could go on and on and on: this is no ordinary place.

Welcome to Beijing, China.

Of course, I knew China is big in more than one way, but I had no idea how big because I had never had the opportunity to visit the country. Even the knowledge that with just over 42% penetration there are now almost twice as many internet users in China than there are people in the USA was kind of abstract. It was impressive, but what was missing was the feeling in my stomach that could bring home to me what this figure really meant. So, I was delighted when my friend and colleague Qun Liu (DCU) invited me to Beijing to attend and speak at the 2013 IET International Conference on Information and Communications Technologies (IETICT2013) held on 27-29 April 2013 in conjunction with the China-Ireland International Conference on Information and Communications Technologies (CIICT2013). I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to learn first hand about this awakening giant, its people, and, of course, its localisation community. On my way to China, I was thinking about my first ever visits to other ‘eastern’ countries that had not been on my ‘western’ radar until I eventually went to visit them, among them India and Russia. How would China compare? I also thought about the Chinese students I had taught at our postgraduate Localisation Programme at the University of Limerick; they had been a mixed group of students, some very open, some a bit more cautious and shy when connecting with the other students and our western culture.

Perhaps not surprisingly, my stay in China was another lesson in humility. The amount of knowledge, experience, and expertise shared by the people I met was really breathtaking. And in that sense, the experience was similar to that of my first contacts with the localisation communities in Russia and India. On all of these occasions, I knew that the person who benefitted most from the visits was myself. The little bit of knowledge I could share during the meetings, conversations, and presentations must have been almost negligible in comparison. However, I also realized that our work both in the Localisation Research Centre (LRC) at the University of Limerick, and at The Rosetta Foundation is being followed closely around the world, and particularly in China and beyond. I was genuinely delighted to meet colleagues who have been following Localisation Focus for years, as well as volunteers of The Rosetta Foundation.

The presentations by our Chinese colleagues at the Ireland-China Localisation Forum organized by Localisation Service Committee of Translators 2013 China-Ireland Localisation ForumAssociation of China (TACLSC) were far too short, while the organizers, being polite, had allocated much time to the western contributors, including Vincent Wade (TCD), Josef van Genabith (DCU), and myself. Of course, this allowed us to share reports on our work, ideas on future trends and research, and to issue invitations for potential collaboration with our Chinese colleagues; but I, at least, could hardly keep up with the amount and depth of material presented by Gavin Cui (LSCTAC) in his introduction to the session. Gavin Cui introduced the speakers: Francois Zhang (Huawei) on Practices and Evolution: Huawei Translation Quality Management; Henry Huang (Pactera) on New Requirements of China Localization Markets; Yongpeng Wei (Lingosail) on Machine Translation in China; Shi Li (LanguAge) on Building the Partnership between Clients and LSPs; and Zhijun Gao (Peking University) on CAT and Localization Education at Peking University.

Of course, we went to see the great Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall, all examples of why everything outside of China feels so small. I learned how to eat using chopsticks, how to roll up thin slices of Peking Duck in paper-thin pancakes, and how to eat soup without a ‘proper’ spoon. Many years ago, I had learned not to eat spaghetti when wearing a white shirt – well, I can now tell you that unless you are a ‘pro’, wearing a white shirt is not a good idea when eating Chinese foot with chopsticks either!

Another notable China experience: the internet went all ‘funny’ on me: Skype worked for 20 seconds and cut out; Google searches went to a site in Hong The Great Wall of ChinaKong and got stuck there; Facebook did not work at all; and the Chinese sites that came up instead, presumably to allow me to search and social network, were, well, in Chinese. I got a feeling that China is so big, that it doesn’t even have to look outside, at least not yet. There are Chinese social networking sites, short messaging services, search engines, and other services used by hundreds of millions of people every day that I had never heard of, among them: Sina Weibo, Renren, and Alibaba. There are companies employing tens of thousands of people. The names of cities that are home to the massive manufacturing plants of western consumer goods only vaguely ring a bell. The obvious question that came to my mind was: what will happen if this giant one day decides to extend its active reach to the West?

I know that this was certainly not my last visit to China. I met strangers and left leaving friends and colleagues behind. There is a lot we can learn from each other, and there are really good indicators that we will deepen our initial contacts and start to develop our mutual understanding, working together in areas of mutual interest.


Osborne, Charlie (15 January 2013). China’s Internet population surges to 564 million, 75 percent on mobile. (last accessed 01 May 2013).

2013 China-Ireland Localisation International Forum. 29 April 2013. (last accessed 01 May 2013).

2013 IET International Conference on Information and Communications Technologies (IETICT2013) held on 27-29 April 2013 in conjunction with the China-Ireland International Conference on Information and Communications Technologies (CIICT2013). (last accessed 01 May 2013).

Africa is not a Country

March 28, 2013

From L-R: Dwayne Bailey, Reinhard Schaler, Tunde Adegbola, and Solomon Gizaz

On Tuesday, 16 March 2013, four friends got together at GALA 2013, the Globalization and Localization Association’s Conference, to present a panel on Spotlight on Africa: Business Opportunities in the World’s Fastest Growing Markets to the assembled localisation business community. I introduced Dwayne Bailey of Translate (South Africa), Tunde Adegbola of Alt-i (Nigeria), Solomon Gizaz of FOSS Africa, the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa, (Ethiopia), and the Localisation Research Centre (Ireland). We wanted to bring the message home to the western business community that Africa was not in need of a ‘mission’ to save it from falling off the cliff (a term much more familiar these days in the context of the US economy) but rather that it is ready to form partnerships with the most innovative and energetic businesses from around the world.

Africa is not only the birthplace of humanity but also the birthplace of human language. Today, it is one of the most linguistically diverse places on earth, with between two and three thousand languages spoken natively (although 75% of Africans speak one of the top twelve). Africans are truly multilingual—it is not uncommon for people to speak their mother tongue at home, a regional African language like Swahili when communicating with neighbours, and one of the colonial languages with non-natives.

Over the past year or so, Africa has featured prominently on the covers of both Time Magazine and The Economist under the headline ‘Africa Rising.’ Over the past decade, six of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries were African. In eight of the past ten years, Africa has grown faster than East Asia, including Japan. With 600 million mobile phone users, Africa has overtaken America and Europe. Africa’s GDP will grow by 900 per cent, topping out at $15 trillion by 2060 – that’s a shade bigger than the current GDP of the United States.

Oprah Winfrey’s US$3 billion fortune makes her the wealthiest black person in America.  But she is no longer the richest black person in the world. This is now Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian cement king. Although people criticize him that he is too close to the political classes, his US$10 billion fortune is earned, not expropriated.

While Dublin bus drivers have to give change in the form of a paper receipt that is redeemable only at the central office (where in the world???), in Nairobi, busses have NFC (Near Field Communication) technology that wirelessly transfers funds from your mobile phone in seconds: no delay, no cash, no change, and you just pay the correct fare.

The following is an extract from the conversation we had during the panel session, in which we talk about the work that is going on in the language industry in Africa, the opportunities for collaboration with the West, and the roadblocks that sometimes make this collaboration difficult.

Reinhard: Could you briefly describe the work you are doing?

Dwayne: Translate focuses on helping companies to localise using their communities.  We draw on our experience and the technologies we built to localise open-source products into South African languages and use that to assist organisations like Mozilla to localise their products such as Firefox, to help Evernote, LibreOffice, Apache, and others.

Tunde: We develop infrastructural, human, intellectual, and other resources required for the active use of modern ICT in African languages. This we do by training researchers, producing knowledge, and developing software and hardware, as well as localising software with the objective of making modern ICT usable in our local languages.

Solomon: I am doing a PhD in the Localisation Research Center at the University of Limerick.

ReinhardWhat is the most important issue you are trying to address with your work (and what would you like to achieve with it)?

Dwayne: Helping people who speak the long tail (and not so long tail) languages to localise products. In that way, enabling them to ensure that their language remains relevant in the digital age. Because, to be honest, if languages are not present in platforms that enable the modern world, then they are languages of curiosity and not viable in the long term. We want to see languages play a vibrant part in the digital world. We’re achieving that by helping language speakers achieve that by helping our clients reduce the cost of supporting the localisation into these languages.

Tunde: Technology provides facilities to jump some of the natural communication hurdles presented by multilingualism and illiteracy, but we have to work at it to make it useful.

Solomon: I am building a technology framework to integrate personalisation into localisation.

ReinhardDo you believe that the ‘West’ understands what is going on in Africa, how people in Africa work, what they need? What can the ‘West’ learn from Africa; what can Africa bring to the people?

Dwayne: Hard one to call. I think there are people from the West who really do understand Africa. But the biggest risk is that if you don’t, it is unlikely that any African will explain that to you. You’ll be left wondering why you just can’t seem to make it happen. Africa really is a multilingual space, while sometimes the West thinks of multilingual as a collection of monolingual silos. In Africa we’re dealing with many languages at the same time. Think pain x N. We’re also dealing with high language skills and low technology skills and producing software that brings sophisticated tech in a low-tech way.

Tunde: Just as Africa misunderstands the West, the West usually gets it really wrong when engaging Africa. The key is to accept the deep cultural differences and enter partnerships on mutually beneficial terms.

Solomon: Yes and No. Yes, because they at least attempt to do something. No, because the approach needs some improvement that considers the reality in Africa.

ReinhardWhat are the biggest opportunities in Africa today?

Dwayne: 2 billion users.  With smartphones rewriting how we think of computers, and with some amazing innovations in Africa we’re faced with a growing market for localisation.

Tunde: Having missed out on many of the opportunities of the Industrial Age, Africa requires mutually beneficial partnerships that will help it take advantage of the offerings of the Information Age.

Solomon: There are many potential customers, a huge population that demands to get information in their own language; the West can use this demand to provide services the African way.

ReinhardWhat needs to happen to grasp them?

Dwayne: Find a good partner and an opportunity to build trust, skills, and relationships for the future.

Tunde: Building partnerships.

Solomon: Two things: as there are few professionals, many people will require training. And: any collaboration should happen with the community as a whole, in their language, not just with a few professionals who are comfortable to use western languages.

I’ll end my short report from our conversation at GALA here. We all felt that this was only a start, the beginning of a long-lasting dialogue and collaboration.

A final word – this time on real action: Late last year, the University of Limerick and the UN Economic Commission for Africa were joined by GALA and The Rosetta Foundation for the launch of the AGIS (Action for Global Information Sharing) Africa Initiative. The plan is to roll out UL’s MSc in Multilingual Computing and Localisation in Africa with a base at UNECA in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). GALA has enthusiastically supported the initiative and will provide students with internships and business mentors. Dwayne, Tunde, and Solomon will all be involved in the preparation and the delivery of the programme. We all very much look forward to our collaboration and will keep you posted on progress.

Remember, Africa is not a country, but a continent of fifty-five states. We don’t need to go on a mission to rescue this continent from the abyss. We need to collaborate with our African friends and colleagues. This is about partnership and exchange, we’ll be ‘on the road’ together for some time to come – learning from each other, working very hard, going far beyond of what we can imagine today, and having lots of fun!

Should you wish to find out more about the AGIS Africa initiative and join in the journey, the fun, and the hard work, go or email

Information about the economic development in Africa was sourced from The Economist, 03 December 2011, African Development Bank 10/2011, and Time Magazine 03 December 2012

Reinhard Schäler